4 ex-sex workers allow themselves to be abducted
By Express News Service | Published: 02nd September 2012 08:44 AM |
Four sex workers were allegedly abducted by an armed gang from a rehab centre in the city in the small hours of Saturday.
The Uppal police have registered a case of kidnapping following a complaint from the care-taker of the centre.
Police said that at around 4 am, a gang of 10 armed persons entered the premises of the Ujjwala P&R Centre at Sarada Nagar in Ramantapur after threatening the security guard and forcibly took away the women on two-wheelers.
One version of the incident said the gang members were Mumbai-based pimps, whom the girls telephoned and asked to be ‘’rescue’’ from the rehab centre run by an NGO.
Assistant commissioner of police (ACP) of Malkajgiri division, P Radhakrishna Rao said the police have set up five teams to track down the women.
The four women have been identified as Seema and Salima of Mumbai and Zareena and Latha of Kolkata.
Aged between 16 and 20, they were rescued from the flesh trade by the Kukatpally and Miyapur police and were accommodated at the rehab centre after being shown in court six months ago.
The rehab centre houses 22 women, most of them rescued sex workers. The Uppal police were alerted to the incident by local people. The ACP said the gang entered the premises by tearing open the iron grill of the entrance.
Rehab official Anasuya lodged a complaint with the police stating that the centre was ransacked by the gang.
Police have registered cases under Sections 224 ( resistance or obstruction by a person to his lawful apprehension), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement.) and 448 (punishment for house trespass). However, sources in the investigation said that the girls themselves telephoned the gang member asking to be taken away.
One of the remaining inmates said, “They thought it was better to live outside than staying here.” Other sex workers lodged at Ujjwala said life is hell at the centre.
“A prison would be better than this,” said a 24-year-old inmate.
“Given a chance, we too would like to leave this place.” At around 4 am Saturday, inmates woke to the sound of the break-in.
“We heard them tearing loose the iron grilling with metal staves. As soon as they entered, they gathered Seema, Salima, Zareena and Latha and drove away in two vehicles,’’ an inmate said.
The women did not resist being taken away. Other inmates recalled that recently, a former sex worker’s brother had come to take his sister away.
“But the police asked for proof of identity,’’ a sex worker said.